Considering heating oil for your new or replacement home heating system? You’re not alone. More than 8 million households across the U.S. use heating oil to keep them warm all winter long. Here are three of the main reasons why:
Safety. Oil heat is one of the safest, most efficient means to heat a home. Fuel oil is a very stable, combustible, non-explosive product, which addresses some of the safety concerns that surround other fuels. Although there’s always a small risk of carbon monoxide exposure with any combustion heating system, an oil furnace is safer to use than a propane or natural gas system. Oil won’t explode in the same way that natural gas or propane can — one of oil heating benefits whose value is immeasurable. It’s rare for an oil storage tank to develop a leak, but if it does, it doesn’t pose nearly the danger that natural gas or propane leaks do.
Efficiency. The efficiency is a result of the high BTU content found in a gallon of oil, versus an equal measure of natural gas, propane, or electricity. For example, heating oil produces 130,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units, a standard measure of heat) per hour, while propane produces only 95,000 BTUs. Even if a propane furnace runs more efficiently than its oil-fired equivalent (about 10 percent more efficiently is typical), propane can’t make up the difference in heat output through equipment efficiency alone.
Durability. An oil heating system lasts longer than a gas furnace does. A gas furnace has a working life of a dozen years or more, while an oil system can easily reach 25 years and more with routine maintenance.